Chara has high praise for Dougie Hamilton

BOSTON -- As if there wasn’t enough hype and pressure on highly touted Bruins blue line prospect Dougie Hamilton coming into this 2013 training camp, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara -- who Hamilton considers an idol and has a picture of in his Twitter avatar – had high praise for the 19-year old defenseman Sunday.

“He’s way better. He’s way better than I was [at age 19], I can tell you right now,” Chara said. “He’s way better than I was at his age.”

When informed of the high praise from the 2009 Norris Trophy winner, Hamilton was thrilled and humbled.

“That’s awesome,” said Hamilton who now gets to reside two stalls down from Chara in the Bruins dressing room. “Just watching him out there, you can see how good he is. I don’t get to watch that much NHL hockey because we’re always playing. But you go out there and watch him and he’s pretty sick. If I can learn from him and try to get better and just watch him, he’s going to help me out a lot. I’m really looking forward to that.”

But while Chara was letting it be known just how special he thinks Hamilton can be, he made it clear he is just as impressed with how Hamilton is off the ice and how eager he is to learn. Chara said he isn’t worried that the hype will get to Hamilton’s head.

“You don’t see very often guys being so humble and almost shy come around and be so good,” Chara said of Hamilton who. “We all can see he’s very talented and willing to learn, so it’s exciting for all of us to have a guy like that around and try to help him out as much as you can and see him growing as a person.”

Chara is entering his 15th NHL season and he knows from experience when he sees a rare breed of talent. That’s what he believes the Bruins have in Hamilton and he is excited to be a part of the development of the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

“I can only say only say that those kinds of people and players don’t come around too often,” the Bruins captain said. “I think we’re all looking forward to seeing him grow as a man and as a player.”